Common Core State Standards are a new set of federal education guidelines for kindergarten through high school students in English, language arts and mathematics. So far, 45 states, including Georgia, have signed on to the plan, but several state legislatures are already considering ways to avoid it.
Cherokee County School District spokeswoman Barbara Jacoby said Tuesday that the county is operating under Common Core standards in the program’s “pilot” year, with full implementation scheduled for the 2013-14 school year.
But Angela Bean, a Fayette County political activist whom the Cherokee Republican party chose to speak at its forum, told the audience of about 20 that she hopes to see Common Core standards stopped in their tracks.
Common Core standards, Bean said, are nothing short of the “indoctrination and manipulation of our students’ minds,” pushing what she called a United Nations social justice agenda.
According to the Georgia Common Core standards’ website, georgiastandards.org, the new standards “provide a consistent framework to prepare students for success in college and the 21st century workplace” and are a “common sense next step” from the Georgia Performance Standards, to which Georgia schools previously conformed.
Jacoby echoed this sentiment Tuesday.
“It’s important for today’s students to be prepared for the global marketplace,” she said. “And an important step is ensuring that all U.S. students are receiving a thorough and rigorous education in core subjects.”
Bean, though, said Monday night that she finds the intent of the standards suspect.
She said she began learning about Common Core standards in February after receiving a tip from a friend she knew through the tea party who was a teacher.
Bean started researching the standards and was not pleased with what she found.
“It didn’t take long for me to start peeling the layers of the onion away,” she said. “And to get into a total panicked state about what the Obama administration was (doing to the education system.)”
“Just like (Obama) has done with Obamacare, which is centralized government control of our health care system,” Bean said, “Common Core is centralized control of our children.”
In Bean’s hour-long presentation, she suggested that at some point in the future, Common Core standards would allow the federal government to exercise this “control” of students by “tracking” them with a 400-point tracking system.
And one day, students may have machines like “facial-expression cameras,” and “posture seats” used on them, she said.
She also made several references to her view that the “common” nature of the standards make them “Marxist” in principle.
She added that many will profit from the state’s support of the standards.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates will be one of those to see profit from software sales related to Common Core standards, she said.
Another beneficiary of the standards system, Bean said, is the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamic political group based in Cairo, Egypt. They may benefit thanks to their association with a database project which pulls data from “many Georgia schools.”
Andrew Reid, a Cherokee County resident who said he had children in school, took issue with Bean’s suggestion that Common Core shouldn’t be supported because of her assertions that it was “Marxist” or that the Muslim Brotherhood might benefit from it.
Reid said he supported Bean’s idea of the state withdrawing from Common Core standards but didn’t approve of the way she framed her argument.
“I appreciate all that you’re doing,” he said, “But a lot of people who are well-read on the subject will walk out … when you say that Common Core standards shouldn’t be supported because they’re ‘Marxist.’”
And “the Muslim Brotherhood aspect is very polarizing,” he said. “It makes whole conversation about core values; it takes it away from education” and “brings in emotional rhetoric.”
Bean said she may take the reference to the Muslim Brotherhood out of her presentation.